MUMBAI, India—Tata Sons will have a new chairman of the board next year – and he’s not in the family.
Board member Cyrus Mistry will take over from leading Indian industrialist Ratan Tata when he retires as chairman of Tata Sons next year.
Mistry was appointed deputy chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company for a sprawling salt-to-SUV family empire and will hold that job until he takes over in December 2012
Tata Sons owns automotive brands Jaguar and Land Rover and tea company Tetley.
The company is one of India’s oldest industrial houses, made up of over 100 companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Power, with revenues last fiscal year of $83.3 billion.
The move may come as a surprise as analysts predicted a successor would come from within the Tata bloodline.
He is currently managing director of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which has interests in construction, real estate, infrastructure and textiles.
Mistry was appointed to the Tata Sons board in 2006 at the urging of Ratan Tata himself.
Tata Sons recently unveiled its Tata Nano car at October’s Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show in Toronto. The Nano is the cheapest retail vehicle in the world.